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May jobs report: US labor market recovery picks up steam, adding 559,000 jobs in May

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It was a second sizable miss of analyst expectations after a big disappointment in April. Economists had predicted 650,000 jobs added in May.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. This is the lowest rate of joblessness since March 2020, when it stood at 4.4% and full effect of the pandemic lockdown hadn’t happened yet.

The labor force participation rate was more or less flat in May at 61.6%, showing that the unemployment rate went down because people found jobs and not only because they dropped out of the workforce.

The May report was also a big improvement from the revised 278,000 jobs added in April. The initial read of 266,000 jobs last month was the biggest miss versus expectations since Refinitiv started recording that data in 1999.
Nevertheless, America is still down 7.6 million jobs compared with February 2020. And while adding more than half a million jobs in a month is a solid pace of growth, “we will…

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